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J.Hazelbaker
J.Hazelbaker, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4385
Experience:  Extensive training and experience in criminal law matters, both prosecuting and defending.
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Is shoplifting/misdemeanor considered a criminal offense in

Resolved Question:

Is shoplifting/misdemeanor considered a criminal offense in the state of PA?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  J.Hazelbaker replied 4 years ago.

J.Hazelbaker :

Hello. Thank you for using JustAnswer.

J.Hazelbaker :

Yes. Under Pennsylvania law a shoplifting offense charged as a misdemeanor is considered criminal.

J.Hazelbaker :

Here is the penalty break-down:

J.Hazelbaker :

(1) Misdemeanor of the first degree, not less than $2,000 nor more than $10,000 and may be sentenced to imprisonment up to six months. (2) Misdemeanor of the second degree, not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 and may be sentenced to imprisonment up to six months. (3) Misdemeanor of the third degree, not less than $500 nor more than $2,500 and may be sentenced to imprisonment up to six months.

J.Hazelbaker :

Generally, a criminal offense is anything that can result in incarceration.

Customer:

From what I call (over 21 years ago), the state police never sent the information to their repository so would it show on a background check?

J.Hazelbaker :

It's not uncommon for offense that old to slip through the cracks and not be on a record. That's because the procedures were more complicated back then and errors were often made. In addition, as clerk of court systems were updated, data was often lost.

J.Hazelbaker :

So, while it should be on the record, I would not be surprised if it were not.

Customer:

so based on the varying "degree' provided above, my offense was less than $20.00. That would even be excluded from the third degree offense. So how is thast classified?

J.Hazelbaker :

The reference to the $ is for the fine, not the value of the property.

Customer:

or would the doallar amount be the potential fines associated with each?

J.Hazelbaker :

For $20, it's possible your offense was not charged as a misdemeanor, but as a summary offense.

J.Hazelbaker :

A summary offense is for minor activity that is criminal in nature, but that goes on your record like a traffic ticket. It's not considered a felony or misdemeanor.

Customer:

The light bulb just went on, I think. I believe it was considered a summary offense but all those years I thought it was a misdemeanor.

Customer:

I thnik I'm good. I really appreciate your help and the information.

J.Hazelbaker : You are welcome. Good luck.
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